Always respond to an EEOC complaint

by on May 18, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

EEOC complaint defenses are bolstered by proper paperwork

Your company receives an EEOC complaint and you only have ten employees, do you respond? Will it make a difference if the EEOC complaint is from the state agency, not the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission?

Well, the answer to do you respond is yes. Even though you’re not covered by Title 7, you’re not going to just ignore the EEOC complaint. You want to respond in writing to explain that you don’t have the requisite number of employees. You always want to close the loop and not just say, “Oh well, we’re not covered. So, I never have to look at this again.”

Would it make a difference if the EEOC complaint is from the state agency not the EEOC? It would indeed. Why? Your state EEO law may have different coverage thresholds than the federal law.

Some states say that if you got one or more employee, you’re covered. Some states say four, some say five, et cetera. So, even though federal law does not cover you, you may be covered by state law.

EEOC employment and hiring complaints
Your company receives an EEOC complaint from an applicant claiming he was discriminated against namely not hired based on religion. You have no record of interviewing this applicant, how do you respond?

Well, again, this isn’t something where you’re just going to ignore it because you say, “Well, we don’t have anything here.” But first, you say you have no record of interviewing this applicant. Then you want to check four more times to see if you really don’t have any record because you’re interviewing lots of applicants, things can get lost, you want to talk to all the people who might have interviewed this person.

If you really don’t have any record, then you tell this to the EEOC. You say, “You know, this person claim to have applied. We keep records. We don’t have any record. We can’t respond to anything else because we’ve never met this person, et cetera.” But again, you do want to have something on paper in response to the agency’s request.

Edited remarks from the Rapid Learning Institute webinar: “EEOC Charges: How to Prepare an Airtight Response and Avoid Costly Payouts” by Alyssa T. Senzel, Esq. on 2-7-2008

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